Means To An End

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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"Concequentailists will lie to save a persons life. But then they are treating those to whom they lie as a mere means to the end of saving others. So their actions cannot be justified" "Concequentailists will lie to save a persons life. But then they are treating those to whom they lie as a mere means to the end of saving others. So their actions cannot be justified" This statement evidently states a contradiction in ethics. A consequentaialist duty is to bring about the best overall state of affairs judged from an impartial perspective. From an impartial perspective, what reason these people are being hunted down is considered to be irrelevant. Yet to bring the best happiness, this reason becomes very relevant. From a Kantian perspective, the "˜situation' in which this person has got himself into is a rational basis to decide on ones life, such as murder or treason.

They may also point out; duty is the necessity of acting from respect for the law. Are you then breaking the law to save this person? Does this make you a just individual to lie? Deontology upholds actions themselves as being right and wrong regardless of the consequences. From a deontologist point it is then acceptable for you to give up this person because it is right"¦..or is it wrong? The argument points out, that you are using the person to which you lied to, as a means to saving another's end, as being an unjustified act. Yet is it valid for this individual to use you as a mean to an end of the person you are hiding? Is it their duty to make ones end your judgment? This may turn into a redundant circle of who it treating who as means and as an end.



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